Author Topic: Pilot was unconscious, slumped over before plane crashed into Atlantic Ocean  (Read 1630 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS12) — A preliminary accident report revealed the pilot that was killed after a plane went into the Atlantic Ocean last month was unconscious before the plane went down.

On May 24 just before 6 p.m., Carlos González-Mejia and the Cessna 560 he was flying crashed into the ocean about 310 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The plane was destroyed when it landed in the ocean and Mejia's was "presumed to be fatally injured."The plane took off from St. Louis Regional Airport at 2:30 p.m. and was supposed to land at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, according to the NTSB. The owner of the plane says he bought the plane two days before the accident.

He says the plane was built in 2001 and was powered by two Pratt and Whitney JT15D-5D engines, according to the NTSB. He says all of the plane's maintenance logs were onboard the plane during the fatal flight.

The plane had also recently undergone an inspection that was completed on May 22, the NTSB said. The owner then hired a contract pilot, Mejia, to fly the plane to Fort Lauderdale to have some avionics work done.

On the day of the accident, the owner tracked the progress of the flight using an online commercial service, according to the NTSB. But shortly after 5 p.m., the owner got a call from the avionics shop at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport telling him the plane never arrived.

When he reviewed the online flight track, he saw it overflew the airport and was heading toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Mejia had communicated with the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center saying he was level and "the air was smooth," the NTSB said. But when the air traffic controller tried to communicate with him later to contact the Jacksonville ARTCC, he wasn't able to. The controller tried to reach him several times on different radio frequencies, but was unsuccessful.

The controller then told the Jacksonville ARTCC that the flight was lost.

The U.S. Air Force then sent two planes to intercept the Cessna, according to the NTSB. When they caught up to the plane, one of the Air Force pilots said he could see Mejia unconscious and slumped over the controls before the plane went down.

U.S. Coast Guard crews conducted a search after the crash, but suspended the search May 25, the NTSB said. Neither Mejia nor the plane were ever recovered.

According to the NTSB, Mjia held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land and multiengine land. His most recent FAA first-class medical certificate was issued on June 26, 2018. He reported a total of 9,016 hours of flight experience and held many type ratings, including a type rating for the Cessna 560 and had a certification for single pilot for the Cessna 560.